Hoyt still contestant in “The Amazing Race”

Every Wednesday, Emily Hoyt gathers with her three best friends for some chow, a chat and good television entertainment. At 8 p.m. the crew gathers around the television to watch their favorite CBS show, “The Amazing Race.”For Emily, however, watching the hour broadcast is a bit awkward. She is watching herself. Last spring, SHSU junior Emily Hoyt and her mom, Nancy, embarked on a journey around the world. The two were selected as contestants for a new primetime reality show in which 11 teams of two race around the globe for a chance at winning $1 million. During the actual filming, the teams did not know where their journey would take them from day to day. On a fixed budget with their only belongings stuffed into a backpack, the teams were pitted against a series of tasks. Periodically, the last team to perform the tasks and arrive at a pre-determined destination point would be eliminated from the race. After seven episodes, the mother and daughter team are still very much a part of the race. “My friends and family were very surprised to see that we’ve made it this far,” Emily said. Emily, like the rest of America, sees her televised adventure unfolding every week. The teams were not allowed to see the footage before it aired. “It’s been interesting,” said Emily, on watching the show week-to-week. “In actuality, people see so little of what really went on during the 30-plus days we were traveling.” The result of a month-long video shoot of 22 individuals is an abridgment of clips into a one-hour time slot. Consequently, viewers don’t get the whole story. “For the most part, the contestants were accurately portrayed, but the audience really doesn’t get to see the whole picture,” said Emily, adding, “The only truly accurate portrayals are Kevin and Drew. They are that funny all the time!” After the third leg, the team was the only all female team still in the race, which Emily felt was a disadvantage. “It’s hard to be women in some countries,” she said. She also felt the physical requirements of the race were straining at times. While being a prime time starlet is not a chance every person gets, Emily feels her life really hasn’t changed all that much. She said her outlook on life has changed, but her day-to-day interactions haven’t. Reflecting on her journey, like any good trip, she quickly claims, “I’d do it all over again!” Traveling did, however, make her “glad to be an American.” Only the contestants and producers know the outcome of the race, but the results have been kept strictly confidential. Each Wednesday comes quickly, but not quickly enough for Emily. During each episode, she is able to give her friends a “behind the scenes” scoop at what “really” went on. At 9 p.m. comes the conclusion of another episode and another few days of Emily’s around-the-world adventure. Like other fans, she is forced to wait for the next week’s episode, with only glimpses of the upcoming broadcast to hold her over for a week. Even after seven episodes, she still gets butterflies before each airing.

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